Market Wrap: Bitcoin Fades From $42K, Alts Still Ahead as ApeCoin Pumps

BTC was roughly flat over the past 24 hours, compared with a 24% rally in APE.

AccessTimeIconApr 20, 2022 at 8:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 29, 2023 at 11:08 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) reached a high at $42,199 earlier in the New York trading day, although the buying eventually waned. The cryptocurrency is roughly flat over the past week, which could indicate some uncertainty among market participants.

Meanwhile, some alternative cryptos (altcoins) are starting to outperform bitcoin. For example, AAVE, EOS and CAKE all rose by more than 3% over the past 24 hours. Also, on Wednesday, a pair of tweets from the pseudonymous profiles ignited a 24% rally in the price of ApeCoin (APE), a token linked to the non-fungible token (NFT) project Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).

Trading volumes in the NFT market ticked higher last week, albeit at a far lower level than last year's peak. The uptick could reflect an increase in speculative behavior among crypto traders, which typically occurs when market sentiment is bullish.

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Stocks were also mixed on Wednesday, while gold, a traditional safe haven asset, ticked higher.

Latest prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $41,196, −0.52%

Ether (ETH): $3,070, −1.23%

S&P 500 daily close: $4,459, −0.06%

Gold: $1,959 per troy ounce, +0.19%

Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.84%

Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at

DeFi performance mixed

Decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens have continue to underperform bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies.

The chart below shows the CoinDesk DeFi Index (DFX) compared with the CoinDesk Large Cap Index (DLCX). Typically, during market rallies, DeFi and other altcoins outperform BTC because of their higher risk profile.

The current downtrend in the DeFi index appears to be slowing, which could point to a brief rise in bullish sentiment among crypto traders.

CoinDesk DeFi and Large Cap Indices (CoinDesk)
CoinDesk DeFi and Large Cap Indices (CoinDesk)

A deeper look, however, shows mixed performance for some DeFi tokens such as AAVE, AMP and COMP. For example, over the past month, AMP has dropped 15%, compared with a 28% gain in COMP and roughly flat performance in BTC.

Weekly and monthly returns (CoinDesk, Messari)
Weekly and monthly returns (CoinDesk, Messari)

And the chart below shows net inflows to the 21Shares exchange-traded products over the past week. Positive figures could indicate a preference for alternative crypto products among investors.

For now, uncertainty remains, according to 21Shares. Bitcoin is a "risk-on asset class, entirely at the mercy of the global macro outlook – as denoted via BTC’s continued correlation with the stock market," the firm wrote in a research report.

Net inflows of 21Shares ETPs (21Shares)
Net inflows of 21Shares ETPs (21Shares)

Altcoin roundup

  • Coinbase NFT marketplace: Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) launched the beta version of its long-awaited non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace on Wednesday, allowing a small group of users from a wait-list of 3 million to use the platform for the first time. The marketplace, which was first announced last October, will support Ethereum-based NFT trading, with a social-media spin that could distinguish it from competitors. Read more here.
  • Blockchain gaming usage explodes 2,000% in a year: Blockchain-based game playing increased 2,000% since the first quarter of last year, equating to 52% of all blockchain activity, according to the recent DappRadar x BGA Games report. Blockchain games attracted 1.22 million unique active wallets in March, with Axie Infinity accounting for 22,000 of those in spite of the $615 million Ronin Bridge hack. The bridge is software that allows Axie Infinity gamers to transfer their digital assets from the game to different blockchains. Read more here.
  • Ethereum DeFi staple MakerDAO adds StarkNet bridge: Crypto lending platform MakerDAO is addressing the cost and congestion of its native Ethereum blockchain by bridging to a cheaper, faster overlay network in the form of StarkNet, the zero-knowledge (ZK) side chain built by StarkWare. Ethereum’s pricey gas fees have driven more activity and users to other blockchains. Read more here.

Relevant reads

Other markets

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day lower.

Top Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
EOS EOS +6.1% Smart Contract Platform
Polkadot DOT +0.3% Smart Contract Platform

Top Losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Filecoin FIL −4.5% Computing
XRP XRP −3.3% Currency
Internet Computer ICP −3.2% Computing

Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS), developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive, and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk 20 is a ranking of the largest digital assets by volume on trusted exchanges.


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Damanick Dantes

Damanick was a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he wrote the daily Market Wrap and provided technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio strategist and does not invest in digital assets.

Angelique Chen

Angelique is a market contributor at CoinDesk.